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Author Topic: Sales have tanked big time  (Read 102395 times)

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« Reply #875 on: January 06, 2012, 07:20 »
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I agree with Martin here. I dont think its anything to love at all. I think its terrible, an agency that we once all loved, in fact and along comes Getty and its all destruction. I for one, would love to see them come back somehow, if not big time, at least back on track. :)

I am somewhere in the middle. I am very sad that I lost a big source of income. On the other hand, I am tired of seeing greedy large companies take advantage of their employees (suppliers) and should definitely be taught a lesson. And the only way to teach that lesson is take money out of their grubby, greedy hands. If that's what it takes, I'm ok with it. Of course a lot of people are going to get hurt (myself included), and that is sad too. In the long run, I hope that other companies see the power of a united front. And that united front might just be the internet and the social community.


« Reply #876 on: January 06, 2012, 12:28 »
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Yesterday i met with an exclusive diomand. he wants to meet me cause he wants to ask how i am doing recently as an independent. He told me that he and his two close friends wants to throw their crown after terrible dec. statistics. I loved istock but never behave like cherry leader but they were really behaving cherry leader for istock. They both sold more than 400000 in istock. If they throw their crown this will be really big blood lost for istock.

We should all have a health warning stamped on us: "My success/failure as an independent is no indicator of your future success/failure if you try it".

« Reply #877 on: January 06, 2012, 14:35 »
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Yesterday i met with an exclusive diomand. he wants to meet me cause he wants to ask how i am doing recently as an independent. He told me that he and his two close friends wants to throw their crown after terrible dec. statistics. I loved istock but never behave like cherry leader but they were really behaving cherry leader for istock. They both sold more than 400000 in istock. If they throw their crown this will be really big blood lost for istock.

  It is only since 2006 since the best exclusives sales blew up.  Look at the best selling Xmas exclusive on istock.  She had 25K dl  on June 2007.  Now she has 330K.  Does this mean that someone who joins today istock could get 300K sales in the next 4.5 years if they upload the same quality of photos that she did over that time.  I would argue no.  Will she have 300K dl in the next 4.5 years.  No.  She had 60K sales over xmas a couple years ago, this year around 15k.  Will she make more if she skirts istock exclusivity now.  Don't think so.  If she had not been Istock exclusive over the last 4.5 years she would have lost  at least $400,000.   I guarantee that much.  Istock exclusives should view the last 5 years as an IPO they were lucky enough to get in on instead of what they should expect to make every year.  Most in the top ten of istock weren't even making a living through photography before 2005.  It was hobby for most if anything at all.  The question of replacing the istock income looks to be pressing for most exclusives and independents.  It looks like both are unhappy with the loss of sales on istock.  Istock seems to have opened the door to competition.  I am not sure what this will do.  I know that everyone as an independent won't work.  Has it ever been like that in stock photography?  I don't see that working with the forces of the market place.  It seems like SS is moving to be like the "before getty"  istock.  Someone is going to have become dominant to provide higher prices if not istock.  Istock is battling ss trying to hold them to their low price model with TS.  Someone will lead and dictate to the marketplace through the highest sales and best product.  Everyone having the same product won't work.

« Reply #878 on: January 06, 2012, 15:45 »
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^^^ Amazon doesn't manufacture or produce anything (ok, except the Kindle). They sell what is readily available elsewhere both on-line and in the shops. They just do it much better than most and that's why they are successful.

Ergo, a successful stock agency doesn't have to have unique products or even be the cheapest. They just have to deliver good service. This is mainly achieved through good default search results via a simple functional site (think Bezos of Amazon who stated "I want a site so simple even my mother could use it").

Istock have basically blown it with a complex site that kept breaking down combined with high prices that they insisted on pushing in the customers' faces instead of giving them what they actually wanted.

« Reply #879 on: January 06, 2012, 22:10 »
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I guess if you put up a great photo it will sell like crazy even over xmas break

  when I noticed this photo it had 17 views and 8 buys.  I have never seen that before.  I had a photo that had 3 views and 2 buys and it took off but that was back when photos were selling like crazy.

 here's the link

   http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18762114-welcome-home-entrance-double-doorway-flowers-in-pots.php?     st=bd46454

  It's amazing to see this file take off in istocks slowdown according to the opinions on here.

« Reply #880 on: January 06, 2012, 23:54 »
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I just check one "exclusive" contributor at Istock.

9400 sales since Sept 2010.
All their portfolio is Agency.
If average file size of sales was medium thats 9400 x $75 x 0.80 = $564,000 for Istock
$141,000 for the contributor.
Doesn't include any extended licences etc.

No wonder they're pushing agency & exclusive to the front of the search.

Non-exclusives I can safely say if you haven't already, start concentrating on replacing Istock revenue with other streams.

jbarber873

« Reply #881 on: January 07, 2012, 00:09 »
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^^^ Amazon doesn't manufacture or produce anything (ok, except the Kindle). They sell what is readily available elsewhere both on-line and in the shops. They just do it much better than most and that's why they are successful.

Ergo, a successful stock agency doesn't have to have unique products or even be the cheapest. They just have to deliver good service. This is mainly achieved through good default search results via a simple functional site (think Bezos of Amazon who stated "I want a site so simple even my mother could use it").

Istock have basically blown it with a complex site that kept breaking down combined with high prices that they insisted on pushing in the customers' faces instead of giving them what they actually wanted.

    Absolutely agree. Amazons pre-tax profit margin is 2.7%. There's no room for error and screwups with a number that low, and they execute without fail. Compare that to Getty and Istock with historically huge profit margins that they have slowly wasted and a brand name that has been ruined by the present management. This will be a business school case study for years to come.

« Reply #882 on: January 30, 2012, 07:25 »
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Im getting ready to report yet another piss poor month at istock.

« Reply #883 on: January 30, 2012, 08:01 »
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Up to november istock was my best earner, but december and january is below average for me

« Reply #884 on: January 30, 2012, 10:43 »
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Like everyone else my IS earnings are a fraction of what they used to be. What I can't understand is - why are they still #2 in the Microstock Poll Results? So far for Jan; I've earned more at Canstock than I have at IS! In fact, the only site that did worse than IS was BS. It's hard to believe they were once my #1 earner.  Someone has to be doing well at IS for them to rank at #2.

i think they remain near the top in the poll here because there are still a lot of IS exclusives here and that is their sole income so it remains higher for them than the rest of us.  just a guess.. I think the next few months will be telling in seeing how IS continues to rank in the MSG monthly poll.

« Reply #885 on: January 30, 2012, 11:05 »
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Yes, too bad the poll doesn't have another category for Istock exclusive so we could see what is really going on.

« Reply #886 on: January 30, 2012, 11:53 »
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I don't know how many exclusives complete the poll - I've never completed it. First because I was exclusive and I didn't see any point. Afterwards because the income brackets are not very useful - your number one and two agencies can be hundreds of dollars a month apart and still appear in the same bracket as if they were equal.

And for an exclusive with a decent portfolio and earnings, they're just going to click on 10 ($1,000) each month and it won't tell you anything about whether iStock is up or down anyway.

I like the idea of a poll, but as is, there's more of a bias towards the low end ($50 a month or less) and honestly if a site is under $50 a month, which a lot of the low earners are, what difference does it make whether it's $5 or $10 - it's all flavors of virtually zero?

RacePhoto

« Reply #887 on: January 30, 2012, 15:19 »
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I don't know how many exclusives complete the poll - I've never completed it. First because I was exclusive and I didn't see any point. Afterwards because the income brackets are not very useful - your number one and two agencies can be hundreds of dollars a month apart and still appear in the same bracket as if they were equal.

And for an exclusive with a decent portfolio and earnings, they're just going to click on 10 ($1,000) each month and it won't tell you anything about whether iStock is up or down anyway.

I like the idea of a poll, but as is, there's more of a bias towards the low end ($50 a month or less) and honestly if a site is under $50 a month, which a lot of the low earners are, what difference does it make whether it's $5 or $10 - it's all flavors of virtually zero?

Makes sense, maybe Leaf will reconsider and add a vote for IS exclusives only, because their vote doesn't change anything else for all of the rest of the agencies? It would be a good way to look at the whole picture for IS Indys vs Exclusive.

Maybe a real number for what IND make on IS without the top earners averaged in?

« Reply #888 on: January 30, 2012, 15:29 »
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I don't know how many exclusives complete the poll - I've never completed it. First because I was exclusive and I didn't see any point. Afterwards because the income brackets are not very useful - your number one and two agencies can be hundreds of dollars a month apart and still appear in the same bracket as if they were equal.

And for an exclusive with a decent portfolio and earnings, they're just going to click on 10 ($1,000) each month and it won't tell you anything about whether iStock is up or down anyway.

I like the idea of a poll, but as is, there's more of a bias towards the low end ($50 a month or less) and honestly if a site is under $50 a month, which a lot of the low earners are, what difference does it make whether it's $5 or $10 - it's all flavors of virtually zero?

Makes sense, maybe Leaf will reconsider and add a vote for IS exclusives only, because their vote doesn't change anything else for all of the rest of the agencies? It would be a good way to look at the whole picture for IS Indys vs Exclusive.

Maybe a real number for what IND make on IS without the top earners averaged in?

but then what do you do with all the other agencies that have exclusives?  I'm just assuming that IS has the most, but I think I may be biased on that since I was one there for so long.  I dont know what impact that has for other agencies, it could skew the poll the other way if you only had an exclusive-only poll for IS

« Reply #889 on: January 30, 2012, 16:43 »
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FT and DT do have exclusive artist programs, but I don't think any top earners are exclusive at either one. DT, FT and CanStock have a notion of exclusive images, which don't really skew the numbers enough to distort things I would think.

What would be helpful, I think, is to have something for IS exclusives and to have a total for indies (in addition to the individual agency info) and then see how the totals compare (in whatever groups the survey brackets income). IMO it only makes sense to compare exclusives' IS income against the total from all other agencies for indies.

« Reply #890 on: January 30, 2012, 17:16 »
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FT and DT do have exclusive artist programs, but I don't think any top earners are exclusive at either one. DT, FT and CanStock have a notion of exclusive images, which don't really skew the numbers enough to distort things I would think.

What would be helpful, I think, is to have something for IS exclusives and to have a total for indies (in addition to the individual agency info) and then see how the totals compare (in whatever groups the survey brackets income). IMO it only makes sense to compare exclusives' IS income against the total from all other agencies for indies.

great idea! 

lisafx

« Reply #891 on: January 30, 2012, 17:40 »
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IMO it only makes sense to compare exclusives' IS income against the total from all other agencies for indies.

great idea! 

Absolutely!  There is so much debate over whether the same artist would be earning more as exclusive or indie.  Some way to measure this (however inexact) would be interesting. 

« Reply #892 on: January 30, 2012, 18:03 »
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IMO it only makes sense to compare exclusives' IS income against the total from all other agencies for indies.

great idea! 

Absolutely!  There is so much debate over whether the same artist would be earning more as exclusive or indie.  Some way to measure this (however inexact) would be interesting. 
+1

Leaf: How many people do you need to +1 this in order to make this come true ?  :)

« Reply #893 on: January 30, 2012, 18:59 »
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I have a slightly different perspective here.

I am a former iStock exclusive (still in the 30 day period at the moment) who had a fantastic 2011. My sales were up on previous years for every month and income was well up on previous years. I had been contributing to iStock since late 2007 but at the start of 2012 have decided to drop exclusivity, despite 2012 being my best year. Why? Well for the last 18 months I have been hanging on and hoping iStock would turn the corner and start treating it's contributors and customers better. Quite frankly iStock has been doing well despite it's best efforts to sabotage itself. I think 2012 is going to be the year that iStock's behaviour will come back to bite itself. I don't think it is going to happen immediately, but I suspect it will happen quicker than might be expected. Think about the transition from MySpace to Facebook. I'm expecting that sort of a transition to happen and by leaving now I'm hoping to be in a position on Shutterstock (who I expect to be the recipient of the transition) to take advantage of it.

Who knows maybe I have made the wrong choice and iStock will turn the corner this year? It may do so, but I don't think so. I think the morale of the community is at an all time low because of the way HQ has treated them and even the woo yayers are clinging to hope. The customers are impacted by frequent outages and when the site is actually up, are barraged by high priced (and increasing prices) images in a complicated pricing structure (how many price tiers? DB, Non-E, P+, E, E+, Vetta, Agency). iStock is becoming a synonym for unreliability and high prices. Don't get me wrong there are still buyers there, but the smaller buyers are going elsewhere or being told to go elsewhere within Getty (what kind of company tells buyers white-ant's itself by telling buyers to go to a lower cost subsidiary of itself?)

I'm not an iStock hater (I know many here are), they have been good to me over the past few years, but unfortunately I don't think their behaviour is "sustainable". You can't keep screwing over your suppliers and buyers (and now staff) and expect to prosper. They had the lead and rather than looking for ways to go ahead and dominate the opposition, they gave up on outward growth and hollowed out the things that had made them successful. If you can't make a successful business out of a process where people give you your saleable assets and you keep 55-85% of the sale price you don't deserve to be in business.

KB

« Reply #894 on: January 30, 2012, 20:26 »
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They had the lead and rather than looking for ways to go ahead and dominate the opposition, they gave up on outward growth and hollowed out the things that had made them successful. If you can't make a successful business out of a process where people give you your saleable assets and you keep 55-85% of the sale price you don't deserve to be in business.
I think, as has been mentioned here by others, the problem is simply that H&F's business goals are not in line with growing the business or market share. They are simply to make the company's numbers look attractive enough to an outside buyer to facilitate a sale. You might think the best way to do that would be exactly in line with what you mentioned, but H&F know their business model and apparently it is not.  >:(

« Reply #895 on: January 30, 2012, 20:45 »
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"I don't think it is going to happen immediately, but I suspect it will happen quicker than might be expected. "

hahaha way too many subjective terms in there!  I can't tell what you think/expect, because you suspect three different things!

just giving you a hard time though, I agree 100% with your post.  It's the same reason I left.  Well that and the RCs.

« Reply #896 on: January 30, 2012, 21:18 »
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"I don't think it is going to happen immediately, but I suspect it will happen quicker than might be expected. "

hahaha way too many subjective terms in there!  I can't tell what you think/expect, because you suspect three different things!

just giving you a hard time though, I agree 100% with your post.  It's the same reason I left.  Well that and the RCs.
Ha! The language is mangled, but you get my point.

« Reply #897 on: January 31, 2012, 00:37 »
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This is my 6th year on istock and this month is my lowest earnings excluding my first month when I had 10 photos online.

Seems a bit strange

1) best match ?
2) Buyers left ?
3) Reporting bug ?

Micro1

« Reply #898 on: January 31, 2012, 01:20 »
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 8) 
Bruce will be able to buy it back at a portion of what he sold it for, then turn it around, and sell it to -


Getty? 
:)

lagereek

« Reply #899 on: January 31, 2012, 02:11 »
0
I have a slightly different perspective here.

I am a former iStock exclusive (still in the 30 day period at the moment) who had a fantastic 2011. My sales were up on previous years for every month and income was well up on previous years. I had been contributing to iStock since late 2007 but at the start of 2012 have decided to drop exclusivity, despite 2012 being my best year. Why? Well for the last 18 months I have been hanging on and hoping iStock would turn the corner and start treating it's contributors and customers better. Quite frankly iStock has been doing well despite it's best efforts to sabotage itself. I think 2012 is going to be the year that iStock's behaviour will come back to bite itself. I don't think it is going to happen immediately, but I suspect it will happen quicker than might be expected. Think about the transition from MySpace to Facebook. I'm expecting that sort of a transition to happen and by leaving now I'm hoping to be in a position on Shutterstock (who I expect to be the recipient of the transition) to take advantage of it.

Who knows maybe I have made the wrong choice and iStock will turn the corner this year? It may do so, but I don't think so. I think the morale of the community is at an all time low because of the way HQ has treated them and even the woo yayers are clinging to hope. The customers are impacted by frequent outages and when the site is actually up, are barraged by high priced (and increasing prices) images in a complicated pricing structure (how many price tiers? DB, Non-E, P+, E, E+, Vetta, Agency). iStock is becoming a synonym for unreliability and high prices. Don't get me wrong there are still buyers there, but the smaller buyers are going elsewhere or being told to go elsewhere within Getty (what kind of company tells buyers white-ant's itself by telling buyers to go to a lower cost subsidiary of itself?)

I'm not an iStock hater (I know many here are), they have been good to me over the past few years, but unfortunately I don't think their behaviour is "sustainable". You can't keep screwing over your suppliers and buyers (and now staff) and expect to prosper. They had the lead and rather than looking for ways to go ahead and dominate the opposition, they gave up on outward growth and hollowed out the things that had made them successful. If you can't make a successful business out of a process where people give you your saleable assets and you keep 55-85% of the sale price you don't deserve to be in business.

Hi there!  by the look of things, yes, you probably did the right thing. :), IS, has been good to me as well, at least for the first 4 years, brillant in fact, and the word hate does not come into the stock-industry, its business, thats all.
I would rather say, its a great disappointment really, how such an agency, once flourishing, can turn so sour and as you say, do the best in destroying itself.

best.


 

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